The Associated Press

Commercial Developers May Seek Casino Licenses In SE Mass.

The state gaming commission has voted to open the door for commercial developers to apply for casino licenses in southeastern Massachusetts, a region reserved until now for a federally-recognized Indian tribe. The unanimous 5-0 vote, while a possible setback of the Mashpee Wampanaog tribe, does not preclude the tribe from continuing with its effort to build a resort casino in Taunton.

— Here’s the statement from Mashpee Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell:

The Gaming Commission’s decision today to pave the way for a fourth casino in the state and two in Southeastern Massachusetts not only undermines the Governor and legislature but also jeopardizes projects in every region.

At a time when we need to create thousands of jobs in every corner of the state and put people back to work, this is a major step backwards.

Over the last 400 years, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has experienced a long succession of broken promises by the government, from the loss of our land, our personal freedom, and our aboriginal rights, to name just a few. We believe, however, that we have found trusted partners in Governor Patrick and the legislature, as shown in their decision to work with us to ensure hundreds of millions of dollars for Massachusetts while respecting our rights as a federally recognized tribe. Despite the Commission’s misguided decision, we will continue to move forward in partnership with the Governor and the legislature to build our destination resort casino in Taunton.

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